- The Italian Prime Minister told reporters on Sunday at a press conference at the conclusion of the G20 Leaders Summit in Delhi that a final decision has yet to be made on leaving the Belt and Road Initiative.
- Italy remains the only country among the Group of Seven industrialized nations to have signed Beijing’s signature Belt and Road Initiative, launched by President Xi Jinping a decade ago.
- Rome is under pressure to reformulate its relationship with Beijing to appease its Western allies.
The workers produce large construction materials and equipment for export to countries along the Belt and Road. Hai An City, Jiangsu Province, China, June 15, 2020.
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The announced Italian withdrawal plan may set precedence for a constructive exit from China’s Global Trade and Infrastructure Initiative, paving the way for a future exit.
Italy remains the only G7 country to have signed up to Beijing’s signature Belt and Road Initiative, which is the centerpiece of President Xi Jinping’s foreign policy program launched a decade ago.
At a time of shifting geopolitical alliances that are fragmenting the global economy, Rome is under pressure to reshape its relationship with Beijing to appease its Western allies with Italy assuming the rotating presidency of the Group of Seven advanced economies in 2024.
“The thinking in Washington is that if Italy withdraws and does so with a degree of actual cooperation and smiles with Beijing — which means no sanctions or informal responses — then what this will implicitly mean is that other Western European countries, and perhaps even Eastern European countries, will do so.” “You will do it.” Most BRI participants will probably be able to withdraw, Giulio Pugliese, a lecturer at Oxford University’s School of Global and Area Studies, told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Thursday.
“Let’s not forget that many Baltic states and many other Central and Eastern European countries, apart from Hungary, are very suspicious of China’s role at present,” Polisi said.
China’s ambitious Belt and Road project is a complex network of infrastructure links linking China to countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America via railways, pipelines, roads and highways.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni told reporters This was during a press conference held today, Sunday, on the sidelines of the G20 leaders’ summit in Delhi Rome was still considering whether to leave the Belt and Road Initiative.
The current Italian government does not consider that its membership in the Belt and Road Initiative has sufficiently benefited its economy. Rome has until December to formally withdraw, or its membership will be extended for another five years.
Meloni met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 summit.
He added that the meeting “confirmed the common intention to strengthen and deepen the dialogue between Rome and Beijing on major bilateral and international issues.” Reading for the meeting Meloni’s office is provided.
Her comments came after US President Joe Biden, along with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced a plan to develop a network of railways and sea routes that will connect India, the European Union and Middle Eastern countries – such as Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. And the United Arab Emirates – in “Transformative regional investment“.
The Americans have framed their new initiative as a counter to China’s influence in the energy-rich Middle East, but also to compete with China’s Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative.
“There are European countries that in recent years have not been part of the Belt and Road but have managed to establish more positive relations [with China] “Which sometimes worked,” Meloni reportedly said on Sunday.
“The issue is how to ensure a win-win partnership, while leaving aside the decision we will make on the Belt and Road Initiative,” she added.
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